332 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. dynasty, whose tomb I have visited near Meshed.1 This act was evidently approved by the Shah, who immediately appointed Nadir his Commander-in-Chief. In this campaign success returned to the Safavi arms, both Meshed and Herat were reduced, as will be narrated in the next chapter, and among the honours heaped on Nadir was the title of Tahmasp Kuli Khan, Kuti signifying a "slave." The Defeat of the Afghans at Mehmandost, A.H. 1141 (1729).—Meanwhile Ashraf was collecting his troops, fully realizing that he must once again stake everything on a decisive battle. Owing to home troubles and the necessity of garrisoning important centres, his field army was only thirty thousand strong. One half of this force was com- posed of Afghans, and owing to the recent brilliant victory gained over the Turks the moral of his veterans must have been high. Nadir had wisely persuaded the Shah to draw the Afghan force from Isfahan, and the event proved his sagacity. Ashraf, realizing that the Persian army was daily increasing in numbers, decided to march into Khorasan before it became too strong, and Damghan, situated near the Parthian capital Hecatompylus, was the scene of the first of many victories in which the arms of Iran, after a humiliating eclipse, were victorious against a foreign foe. The Afghans charged with savage shouts, but made no impression on the veterans trained by Nadir, whose musketry and artillery fire inflicted heavy losses. Ashraf immediately detached two columns to make a circuit on the right and left of the enemy, while he him- self again charged the front. Nadir was far too ex- perienced a general to allow these tactics to succeed. Beating off the attacks with ease, he ordered a general advance, which broke the Afghans, who were discouraged by the death of their leader's standard-bearer. Leaving their camp to the enemy, they fled panic-stricken and with reduced numbers along the road to Teheran, where it is said they arrived in two days' time—a distance of two hundred miles. This battle is known as the battle 1 " Historical Notes on Khorasan," Journal R.j4.S., Oct. 1910.